This of all Psalms is probably the most read and sung. In earlier days it seemed like a sad Psalm, as it was sung at many funerals. I could never connect with the Psalm as the verses seemed to be a story of joy and sorrow. It left me very confused. To my great surprise, being more mature in my walk with Abba Father, it is more of a love story. Come let us get into the very heart of the Psalm.
It is thought that David wrote this Psalm whilst hiding and running away from King Saul as he was in pursuit of David’s life. King Saul was jealous for the favour that Abba showed to David.
The very first words, caught my attention, ‘My Shepherd.’ David experienced being a shepherd, since a young boy. He was the youngest of all his brothers and he was a tender of sheep. In 1 Samuel chapter 16 we read of David being anointed by Samuel for his future calling to be the King of Yisra’el.
So David, being a shepherd boy, related very much to the shepherd heart of Elohim. Many years ago I read a book, a true story of a shepherd’s life. If only I could remember the name and author. It brought me to tears in some places. The responsibility of being a shepherd rested entirely upon that person. Just as one being a parent of a child. Attention to every detail is of utmost importance. Eg. the diseases, parasites and burs being entangled into the wooly coat that could cause much unnecessary pain. Sheep are notoriously known for getting lost or following a sheep that is lost. Sound familiar? My husband recently read a book on a shepherd in North Devon in the UK. “A Shepherd’s Watch” by David Kennard. This dear man, very young, started out with 800 sheep and they were not in the same pen at all, rather they were spread all around the land. He had to travel by truck to get to some of the farms. Needless to say how many early mornings and late nights he and his two little daughters had, tending the ewes in lambing season. If the mother does not want to stand to feed her lamb, the poor lamb gets left out. They would either find another ewe in milk who accepted the lamb, or they had to bottle feed all the orphaned lambs. In these stories we read that the relation between a shepherd and our Almighty is incredibly similar. Let’s move on to the Psalm.
I will be writing the Psalm exactly like it is written in the Scriptures 1998 Version, with my understanding and experience.
YaHUaH is my shepherd; by now many of you should know your Elohim as your Shepherd, just as David encountered as a young boy.
I do not lack. If YaHUaH is your Shepherd, then you will have all that you need.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He causes us to rest in His sufficient supply.
He leads me by still waters. When I hear the word ‘still’, I think of His peace.
He turns back my being; If I should stumble, He will bring me back to the right path
He leads me in paths of righteousness In His righteous ways, His commands, He will guide us, without leaving us.
For His Name’s sake. YaHUaH’s Name is founded on His Light, His Word, Set-Apartness and being Eternal, and He holds His Word. He is Truth.
When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, Many are the trials and evils we encounter, but He delivers us out of them all. What I love is the word ‘shadow’. Have any of you been frightened of a shadow? Maybe, but the shadow cannot harm. In a valley, where we are brought to the lowest level, a time of trial, it is then when we are the closest to G-d. Unless we have trials, we will never draw close to Him.
I fear no evil. As long as we believe, fear cannot come near us.
For You are with me; For if He is for us, who can be against us?
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Sheep are attacked, by wolves and other preditors. The rod is used against the enemy, it will measure His judgement. His staff is actually a stick that has been carved out of wood with a hook at the one end. A shepherd , guides his lost sheep with the hook, bringing it back to safety.
You spread before me a table in the face of my enemies; When I think of a table, I think of food – well yes, but it’s not the edible food, it’s the spiritual food we need – so that when the enemies appear, He provides us with the Word we need in the face of trials.
You anoint my head with oil; It is the anointing that breaks the yoke. His Presence and power is with us, as a seal of His choice for us. I think of our gifts or a ministry that we have been given, we cannot do His work without the anointing.
My cup runs over. He bestows upon us His abundance of love and provision more than we are able to comprehend.
Only goodness and kindness follow me If we are in His Will, these are given daily. BUT they follow you, if you go in the right path.
All the days of my life; And I shall dwell in the House of YaHUaH, To the length of days! Imagine dwelling in the House of YaHUaH ! Unto those who keep His commands and are faithful forever.
I pray that this insight and understanding has been a blessing to you, that you dwell in His paths of righteousness, being obedient and faithful. That your needs are met as such to bless others too. That you be a shining light; His light to many out there who have no shepherd. Can you imagine how lonely it is to be out in the cold, lost with no food or safety of a covering for your dwelling. To have no one loving you. Father, I ask if there may be a someone who is in this situation right now, being in a place of loneliness and lacking. Father I ask you to touch their heart, even as they read this now. YaHUShA, has made a way for all, as He is not willing that any should perish, but have everlasting life. Speak to Him now and ask Him to show you what to do with your life. Tell Him I need a Shepherd and I am lost, sick and hungry for spiritual food. He is faithful to fulfill His Word. YaHUShA I pray they see, that You are their Shepherd. Amen
NB The Book referred to above is a secular story, but very delightful and touching. It is available on Amazon and eBay Enjoy!
photo: Studio Chayel ~ photography